Updated: Feb 21
Market Research is the Foundation of Business Strategy
It is a vital fact that market research is one of the keys to successful marketing campaign. A well planned and conducted research can help you find the suitable customer profiles, determine the viability of your products and services, list out the possible pitfalls and obstacles that may arise, and many other important marketing aspects that are essential to a business. At the end of the day, all these research processes and the collected information are to help you develop a solid and appropriate marketing strategy for your business.
However, with all due respect, conducting marketing research is often easier said than done. Many startups and businesses end up losing money and wasting precious time because their marketing plan is built upon a poorly conducted research. As a business owner wasting money and wasting time are the 2 deadliest symptoms that you should avoid, and to stay away from these traps we need to rewind our journey back to the very beginning and examine carefully what your are doing incorrectly in your marketing research!
Don't Make These Kind of Mistakes!
1. Diving Into Marketing Research Without Having a Clear Objective
You may know it before that marketing research can help you stay ahead, reduce risks, and gauge the market pulses accurately. But have you ever thought of outlining your research goals or questions before starting your research process? If no, then you might go on the wrong track. This may sound obvious, but you will be amazed on how many researchers start losing direction during the research process because a clear purpose and objectives are not set beforehand. Am I researching about the market viability of my product? Trying to look for the suitable market niche? Or, I am already clear about my target audience, but just need to look for the suitable channels, and methods to approach them? Every stage of the research process should have a research questions and goals to help you stay on the right path. Marketing research should be a converging and step-by-step process that helps you lay out a clear direction for your business. It shouldn’t be a process that makes your current situation even messier than before with a cluster of irrelevant information.
Learn about the 5 Objectives of a Marketing Research Guide here.
2. Diving Too Fast into Primary Research
Secondary Research - The main purpose of a secondary research is to understand what kind of researches have been done by other people, institutions, or organisations. Collecting existing data from third-party to help understand the market, and the competitors.
Primary Research - The purpose of a primary research is to gather information and answer questions that have not been asked before though surveys, focus groups or interviews. Primary research is typically more time consuming and has higher associated costs, so it is in the best interest of an organization to only conduct primary research after comprehensive secondary research is completed.
Having a comprehensive secondary research will help researcher eliminate a great number of irrelevant variables, and makes the research process more focused especially during the primary research process. As already discussed, primary research is a time consuming process, thus its is very important to have focused questions and clear purposes when conducting the primary research to avoid wasting time and resources. A lot of business owners jump straight into primary research with out proper secondary information, and as a result, the data collected can be unorganized, confusing, and could even be irrelevant.
3. Avoiding Customer Focused Research
It doesn’t matter if a company is selling the most high-tech product or the most high-end services in town, at the end of the day, the decision to purchase from your business comes from the customers. Therefore, it is necessary for marketeers to adopt a marketing plan that can appeal to the customers’ needs. In order to design an efficient marketing plan, a detailed research, focusing on the customers, must be conducted at some point in your marketing research process to thoroughly examine the demographics, the needs, the behavior, and the traits of your target audience. With this information, you can then come up with the suitable plan to tackle your customer’s needs, the appropriate channels to get access to your customers, and the proper pricing strategy to attract customers into your business.
A proper customer focused research usually takes up more time during the market research stage. It requires enough secondary research, proper set up of research or interview questions, carefully designed surveys, and lots of patience. Majority of the times, business owners shy away from this process due to the time that need to be spent in conducting customer research, but without properly understanding the target audience it is very difficult to be competitive in the industry, and more importantly, time and money will be wasted when the executed marketing plan is built upon an inaccurate market research with insufficient amount of data. It is wiser to spend more time during the preparation stage, then having all kinds of problems popping up during the actual business operations which could have been avoided when more research could have been conducted.
4.Coming to Conclusions Too Quickly
The reason why a marketing research is called a “research” is because you want to collect as much information and evidence as possible to help you come down to a conclusion. It should be planned but not rushed. Although businesses are moving fast, and opportunities can only exist for a period of time, business decisions and marketing research like this should be reviewed even more carefully to avoid any losses in the future. The market data from a national perspective may be quite different from data taken from a local perspective. The sales channels may vary between areas, ethnic groups, income level, and many other factors. An accurate and solid conclusion takes time and lots of research.
A lot of entrepreneurs and business owners gets too hyped up when a new idea comes up. Indeed, new and creative idea is crucial to the growth of a business, but this idea must take time to be refined and modified into a detailed plan that is both practical and strategic. This is an important concept that every business owner should adopt.
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Market Research to Success in 2020 #1 | 5 Objectives of a Marketing Research (Stay Tuned)
Market Research to Success in 2020 #2 | Qualitative VS Quantitative Research (Stay Tuned)
Market Research to Success in 2020 #3 | Competitor Focused Research (Stay Tuned)
Market Research to Success in 2020 #4 | Customer Focused Research (Stay Tuned)